Battered women's perceptions of civil and criminal court helpfulness: the role of court outcome and process

 
Author(s) Bell, Margret E., Sara Perez, Lisa A. Goodman and Mary Ann Dutton
Title Battered women's perceptions of civil and criminal court helpfulness: the role of court outcome and process
Source Violence Against Women,Jan 2011, Vol 17, No 1, pp 71-88
Document type Journal article
​Date​2011
Coverage USA
Summary The data for this study comes from a larger longitudinal study of 406 women seeking help from civil court, criminal court, and/or a shelter, after experiencing violence from a current or former partner. Participants initially completed a questionnaire, with a follow up interview three months later. The qualitative responses about what the participants found helpful and harmful about their experiences in the court system fell into two broad categories. The first category related to issues around court outcomes and the second group were issues related to court process. A significant proportion of the responses involved comments about court processes, including treatment by court personnel, the length of the process, the information that was provided and the public exposure in the open court. More than half of the participants provided a rating of 4 or 5 (from 1 to 5) indicating the court had some degree of positive impact on their well-being. In regard to court outcomes, participants most commonly expressed a desire for alternatives to incarceration such as counselling and anger management. Treatment by court personnel was particularly important to. The authors discuss implications for policy, practice and research, including the significance of the findings for therapeutic jurisprudence.
Keywords Service delivery; domestic violence; court; victims; witnesses; criminal justice system; support
Topic Domestic violence; service delivery